Can The Eagles Defense Continue to Take Flight?

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Oct 13, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole (58) and teammates get pumped up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


When Bill Davis was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles as the defensive coordinator for head coach Chip Kelly’s staff in January 2013, Eagles fans seemed against the idea of shifting what had been a staple of the team’s philosophy, the 4-3 defense, in favor of Kelly’s preferred 3-4 scheme. Davis, who achieved previous success as a coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals in 2009-10, was recently coming off a stint with the Cleveland Browns as their linebackers coach when Kelly called. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, the Eagles were looking for a glimmer of hope after a disappointing 4-12 season which saw former Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo be relived of his duties in-season after a puzzling hire in 2011, promptly being placed with then-secondary coach Todd Bowles. According to Pro Football Reference, the Eagles defense ended their abysmal season with bottom-ten rankings in the following categories:


  • 29th of 32 in points allowed (444)
  • 28th of 32 in average points allowed per drive (2.14)
  • 32nd of 32 in passing touchdowns allowed (33)
  • 23rd of 32 in rushing yards against (2,021)
  • 30th of 32 in interceptions (8)
  • 28th of 32 in fumbles recovered (5)
  • 31st of 32 in total turnovers (13)
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